Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Manners ~ An Almost Lost Art

Me and Devon in San Atonio, TX

Devon and I went to Subway yesterday. I was being lazy and was craving a ham sub on 9 grain wheat bread. I have a bit of a weakness for their Southwest Chipotle sauce and will indulge occasionally. On the side of course. The calories are horrendous so I am careful to ask for half the container and then use only about a tablespoon or so.

Anyway, this isn’t about my sandwich preferences. It is about Devon.

A couple of months ago we had gone to the same Subway. I was having a bad day and didn’t want anything so I sent Devon in on his own to get his sandwich which is always a turkey and American cheese. He came out about 5 minutes later with a HUGE grin on his face. The guy behind the counter had given him free cookies. I asked Devon why and he told me that the guy had told him that it was because he was so polite. I thought that was pretty cool and said “Good job Buddy! Sometimes manners are rewarded” and promptly forgot about the entire episode until yesterday.

Yesterday I went in with Devon to purchase our sandwiches. I made him get ham this time because turkey isn’t one of the $5 foot long options and payday isn’t until tomorrow. We were discussing bread options and Devon decided to try the Italian herb and cheese this time. He likes to live dangerously. LOL

He saw the guy (probably late teens or early 20’s) behind the counter and said “Hi Sir! I remember you, do you remember me?” The guy said “I sure do” and turned to me and said “He is the politest boy I have ever met.”

The lady behind the counter was the one that was taking Devon’s order and also said that he was incredibly polite. I think that Devon might have been subtly hoping for another free cookie but he did not ask them for one. Instead I purchased one for him because I don’t care who you are…if a guy at Subway remembers your kid because they are so polite after 2 months they deserve a cookie. And more.

Devon I am so proud of the young man that you are becoming. Thoughtful, polite, gallant and last but not least…funny as freakin’ heck! I couldn’t be more proud.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Closed For Repairs

I was joking around with someone today. They were talking about having heart bubbles (that giddy feeling when you are falling for someone) and I replied that I have no heart. It was a joke but the reply “so you can’t fall in love?” came back and made me think.

Love for me equals disappointment, abandonment and failure. Every man in my life has let me down.

The man who provided sperm to create me wanted and chooses to this day to have nothing to do with me.

My dad (he adopted me when he married my mom when I was a year old) left when I was 10 and never really made an effort to continue our relationship. He put it all on me to call him if I wanted to spend time with him. He never called me.

My cousin who raped me when I was 10. He was supposed to be family and yet he betrayed and disappointed not just me, but the entire family.

My first (and probably only) true love left and moved to Colorado and married someone else within 6 months of moving there when we had been together for 3 prior. He treated my heart as if it didn’t really matter. He did admit that he realized afterwards what a huge mistake he made treating me so callously, but the damage was already done.

My brother devastated our family with poor choices that he made that he will be paying for the rest of his life.

Devon’s dad who after I got pregnant accused me of getting pregnant by someone else and trying to pin it on him. It took a paternity test for him to believe me. Then I moved across the country so that my son could have a relationship with his dad and I never got so much as a thank you. Instead I tried to make it work with someone that was unreliable, involved others in our relationship until I had to end it because I couldn’t depend on him to be responsible and grow up.

And people wonder why I am so closed off emotionally. I hide it pretty well. I am thoughtful, smart and empathetic. But I don’t involve my heart. I try, but I just can’t. How can I trust anyone to treat it carefully when every single person that I have entrusted with it (or thought about entrusting it to) has casually thrown it away?

I will tell someone that I love them… and maybe part of me does. But I don’t give them all of my heart. I don’t open up that most vulnerable part of myself and let them in. That little room that carries the absolute essence of who I am. The one that if destroyed, would destroy me.

I want so desperately to be loved and to love in return. I am well versed in infatuation, desire and friendship, but I crave the elusive co-mingling of souls. The feeling that provides a certainty that this person loves me without reservation.

Then I wonder how I can expect or even hope for someone to love me without reserve when I can’t return the same to them.

There are times when I have thought that the potential is there. Like an oyster with the precious pearl. I slowly start to open up hoping that this is it. This is the time that love will take ahold and rattle me to my bones. Then, it never fails… before I can open completely and give them that precious pearl, hurt, disappointment or disillusionment occurs and I snap back closed. Once that happens there is almost no chance of my heart ever opening again.

Of course I wonder flippantly if any man deserves my love. Being on the dating scene has definitely made me wonder about the quality of available men that are out there. But then I guess that I may not be the catch that I thought I was. After all, who wants someone that might not ever be able to really, really love them?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Want To Be A Loser, Not A Looser

I remember back to when I was fat I thought that if I was skinny, that it would fix all of my problems. Even as I got closer and closer to my goal I still had this fantasy life that would play over and over in my head where I would have a rock hard body, men falling at my feet and fewer problems.

Reality set in around the beginning of this year and slowly I have come to accept the fact that it doesn’t matter if you are fat or skinny, a girl is going to have problems. Some problems are the same ones I have dealt with for years, others have slowly surfaced as other problems faded away as the weight came off.

I am surprised by the fact that I am still incredibly self conscious about my body. Not the size anymore, but the damage that I did to it by being overweight for so many years. When I meet new people, I don’t want them to see loose skin sagging on my arms or my thighs. I don’t want them to know off the bat that I used to be almost twice the size that I am now. I want to establish Skinny Rachel before people find out that I used to be Fattie Rachel.

When I go out with friends, I do not wear sleeveless or short sleeved outfits. I always layer it with at least an elbow length shrug or a sweater or sweatshirt. I use the excuse that I get cold easily (which I do.. I freeze all the time) but it is more because I don’t want people to see the loose, stretch marked upper arm skin that I have hanging. I know that many people would say that my “bat wings” are a badge of honor. That it is proof of my determination and will to lose the weight. I see it as a neon flag announcing to the world my former fatdom.

I look at my body and usually all I see is the sagging skin. I don’t have a pannus (hanging down belly) because even when I was at my heaviest, I carried my weight mainly in my thighs, bum and arms. I will wear things that are above my knees, but only with control top panty hose to keep the jello jiggle down.

I went to a water park in Texas and another one in Michigan. I have a bikini, but instead of wearing the normal bottoms, I wore the meshy work out shorts that went down to my knees along with the bikini top. I looked for a swimsuit with the matching board shorts, but couldn’t find them anywhere. I get frustrated that I am still so uncomfortable in my body that I cover it up just as much if not more than I did before.

And then the coup de tat. What I have not so lovingly dubbed my girls. I now call them goobs. My cute euphemism for grandma boobs. They are truly sad reflections of what they used to be. My friend Ann is pregnant with baby #3 and nursed the first 2. Her girls are perkier than mine ever were and every time I change in front of her, she gives me this sympathetic look and says “We need to find a way to get you plastic surgery”. To give you a decent comparison just look at a large balloon that has been inflated and deflated about 100 times. Couple that with an ass that people have agreed looks like a Sharpei and you can probably understand why I am almost looking forward to winter.

The thought of being physically intimate with someone who hasn’t seen my naked body makes my stomach churn and I imagine them being grossed out but conversely fascinated by the shapes they can make with my loose skin like it’s Play Doh or something. I wonder who would want someone who is saggy and baggy.

I know, I know…. If someone loves me, they should love all of me, loose skin and all. But let’s be real folks. Our society is very much a physically superficial society. For every Camryn Manheim there are 500 Cameron Diaz’s. I am superficial right along with the rest of them. I prefer a guy who is in shape, taller than me, good looking and has good teeth.

There isn’t much that I can do about the loose skin other than have it surgically removed. I looked into all of the procedures that I would have to have (basically a full body lift) and it averages about $40,000. None of it is severe enough that insurance would cover it so that means that I would have to come up with the entire amount myself. Or, I could set up a PayPal donate button and try to convince people to give me their hard earned money to pay a rich doctor to slice my body apart. Hmmmm… maybe not.

I just feel helpless and frustrated about something that I can’t really change without a huge infusion of money in my bank account. Maybe that is why I dwell on it so much. It is just tantalizingly out of reach. The possibility is there, but there is not much of a chance of me actualizing the possibility.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

What Happens When You Hit A Soccer Ball Into A Net?

You make GOAL!!!!!

Yup! After just over 2 years, I have met my Weight Watchers goal.

Starting Weight: 287.5
Current Weight: 154.2

Total lost:133.3 pounds

I started at a size 24 and currently wear a size 8. I wore a 9.5 wide shoe and currently wear a 8.5 - 9 regular. My ring size went from a 10.5 to a 7.

How did I do it? A ton of support from friends, family and folks at the 100+ pounds to lose board on the WW website. Understanding and accepting why I got so fat in the first place and realizing that I didn't have to life my life in a self imposed prison. A determination that I honestly had no idea existed within me and the admiration and respect that I earned not only from other people, but from within too.

When I started this journey (that will never really end and I am totally ok with that) I never really thought that I would get to goal. I thought I would give it a shot. I told myself I would be thrilled to get to a size 16. I haven't been in a single digit size since junior high and it seemed totally unattainable. I had heard people use the phrase over and over again "If I can do it, you can do it." and I never really bought into it. Didn't really believe that anyone was as far down the road of obesity that I was and was able to turn it around to the point where I was at a healthy weight. Here I sit two years later telling you "If I can do it, so can you."

Something that I used to do, and hide from people, was a few times per week I would hit the McDonald's drive thru and get 2 double cheeseburgers, 2 medium fries and a medium chocolate shake. I would drive home, usually eating the first medium fry and then sit at home, eating the rest of the food mindless bite by mindless bite. By the time I was done, I would be uncomfortably full and would have to take a nap because I was so tired.

The heavier I got, the more tired I became and the more I would eat. The more I ate, the more I slept. The more I slept, the more depressed I would become and would turn to food to feel better. It was a vicious cycle of food, inactivity, boredom and depression.

There are times that I still feel like FFR (Former Fat Rachel). There are days that I am bored, tired and hungry. Are there days that I lose control and binge? Absolutely. But, the binges are far smaller than they used to be and fewer and farther between than they used to be.

I remember a couple of weeks ago I binged on cherries, saltine crackers and 2% cheese. I went over my points for the day and the week, but I tracked it all and the next day I stuck to my points. I know that there are always going to be days that I eat out of control, but I always accept responsibility for my actions and do not give myself a free pass to eat out of control the next day, or even the next meal.

People tell me that I inspired them. Some people have joined WW because they saw me on my journey. Most of them gave up and quit. It used to really upset me but now I realize that they aren't ready yet. When they are truly ready, nothing will be able to stop them. I can't take responsibility for their failures or choices. I can only accept responsibility for my own. Don't get me wrong, I was and will be as supportive as all get out, but I won't take the blame for them not being able to do what I did. I used to get frustrated, but I have to worry about myself and not allow them to upset my applecart.

Is my life a lot different? Some aspects of it is and most are not. I still think about food all the time, but instead of eating everything that I want, when I want, I plan my meals for the most part. I always bring breakfast and lunch with me to work and very rarely deviate from what I brought. I don't eat out nearly as much as I used to and when I do eat out, I tend to find something point friendly and stick with it. I almost never eat fried foods and eat a lot of fresh fruit and veggies.

I still love to watch television and will still eat in bed sometimes. Now I work it into my program rather than eating everything that isn't tied down. I will eat a 1 point mini bag of popcorn or a vita muffin instead of a big bowl of ice cream with cookies or brownies and hot fudge.

It is all about choices, not sacrifice. I choose to eat food that keeps me on track. I can also choose to have a decadent slice of chocolate cake, as long as I either plan for it, or accommodate it into the program. It isn't rocket science, it is more like 4th grade science. I know that this is for the rest of my life and am happy to embrace the challenge.

I still have work to do and work to have done....anyone who loses this much weight has issues with loose skin and my poor girls are truly, truly sad deflated reflections of what they used to be. I would rather deal with saggy skin than skin filled with fat, but if anyone knows a good plastic surgeon that does pro bono work, throw a girl a bone okay??? LOL

Me with my leader Lisa

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane

People have been asking to see some updated photos but I thought that it would be better to take a lovely walk to remember where I started and where I am now..... Enjoy the walk with me.

This used to be my favorite photo pre- WW (weighed approx 285-290 pounds) . Some time in 2006.

This is as close to a full body shot that I have at about the same weight. We were both laughing.

This was my birthday in October 2007. I had lost 40 pounds. Weight was about 247.

Here I am again at my pre-ww weight (ignore the horrific eyeshadow) and me taking a photo when I had lost 50 pounds in the same outfit. Left photo approx 285-190/ Right photo approx 235-240 pounds.

Here I am in March of 2008. I was feeling very sexy that night. Weight was 219 pounds.

Another one from the same night.

75 pounds down. Posing with my WW leader Lisa in April 2008

Just another 5 pounds down.... Current weight approx 207. End of April 2008

Now for some reason I don't have any photos of me available right now (not at home) so i will start again showing my photos where I am at around 185.... Lost 102 pounds.

Here I am on my birthday October 2008. I was home for my Nana's funeral but made my best effort. Current weight was 175. Total lost 111.

And here we are at the end... These photos were taken today by my best friend Wendy with her iPhone.... Current weight 163. Total lost 123 pounds.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bridge Over Troubled Weight Loss

Anyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time knows that I am a fattie. No matter what I weigh, I will always be a fattie inside even if I am not a fattie outside. The demons will always be screaming to get out. The cheeseburgers will always be shouting my name.

Sometimes the demons and cheeseburgers whisper and I can tune it out and focus on more important things. Other times they are screaming so loud that it is all I can do to make it to the drive-thru fast enough and only order one.

The demons have been getting louder lately. It seems that with the slower my weight loss goes, the louder they get. The more frustrated and discouraged I get.

Over the holidays I had a rough couple of weeks. I didn't get completely out of control, but I went over my points two weeks in a row by about 20. I still tracked everything and when I saw that 3 pound gain on the scale, I accepted it and got back on track.

What drives me crazy is that I will lose weight and then gain most of it back. Back and forth. What used to be a pretty consistent downward trend has turned into a battle royale. I am going to post my numbers so that you can get an idea of what I am talking about.

1/28/2009 167.4 lbs +2.6 lbs - 119.6 lbs
1/21/2009 164.8 lbs - 4.0 lbs - 122.2 lbs
1/14/2009 168.8 lbs - 1.8 lbs - 118.2 lbs
1/7/2009 170.6 lbs + 3.0 lbs - 116.4 lbs
1/2/2009 167.6 lbs - 1.0 lbs - 119.4 lbs
12/24/2008 168.6 lbs - 0.8 lbs - 118.4 lbs
12/17/2008 169.4 lbs - 5.4 lbs - 117.6 lbs
12/10/2008 174.8 lbs + 0.6 lbs - 112.2 lbs
12/3/2008 174.2 lbs + 2.0 lbs - 112.8 lbs
11/26/2008 172.2 lbs -- - 114.8 lbs
11/19/2008 172.2 lbs + 0.4 lbs - 114.8 lbs
11/12/2008 171.8 lbs + 0.8 lbs - 115.2 lbs
11/5/2008 171.0 lbs - 3.6 lbs - 116.0 lbs

As you can see by the ups and downs I have lost a total of 3.6 pounds in 3 months. It is very frustrating when before I averaged about a 7 pound weight loss per month. Now I am averaging 1.2 pounds per month. Part of it could be that it is winter and my workouts have tapered a bit, Christmas certainly didn't help and I am starting to wonder if the new birth control that I am on is hindering my weight loss too.

Whatever the reasons, it is frustrating to see such a significant drop in weight loss. It isn't so easy anymore. It is probably my body's way of making me humble. Here I thought that it wasn't all that hard to lose weight and now karma has come back and bitchslapped me in the face.

Don't worry, I have no plans to quit and gain back the weight that I have lost and if it takes a year to lose that last 15-20 pounds, by god I will be clawing tooth and bloody nail to reach my goal.

I guess nothing really worth having comes THAT easy. Unfortunately.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Good Will'in It

Lately I haven't been shopping all that much. I rarely purchase new clothing. Mostly because although I am still losing weight, I haven't been dropping the pounds nearly as fast as I was in the past.

I can currently wearing a size 10/12 depending on the cut. But, I have been wearing all 12's. Why you ask? Because I am too cheap to go out and buy new clothes.

I am trying to stay within my budget and not put anything on credit cards. Not only does it suck, but it makes it hard to have a complete wardrobe when I keep losing weight.

Enter in my new store of choice. Good Will. Yes, I have been shopping regularly at the Good Will and have noticed a few things.

There are a lot of really short people in the world. You have no idea how many times I have tried something on and it turn into high waters.

People seem to like really short waisted sweaters. I prefer my sweater to hit somewhere between 2-6 inches below the waistband of my pants to avoid showing everyone my pale, slightly loose skin. Most sweaters either hit my thighs or barely skim the waistband of my pants.

Why do people cut the tags out of their clothing and then donate it???? I makes me crazy when I can't tell if it is a small, medium or large?

They never really have what I am looking for. This weekend I will be hitting a few Good Will's because I am going on a cruise in April and I need some summer clothing. NOTHING that I have from last year still fits except for 2 t-shirts. No shorts, skirts, skorts, capri's or even dresses. Basically I have to get a decent summer wardrobe with little to no cash.

I have found some great finds. I got my winter coat there for $9.00. It isn't really my style, but it is warm and fits. I figure I can focus on the style when I actually invest in a good winter coat when I get to goal.

I got quite a few Christmas decorations there along with some pajamas that I really needed. I was still wearing drawstring shorts and a t-shirt from before I started losing weight.

The one big purchase that I have to make is for a new swimsuit. I am NOT looking forward to it considering that I do have quite a bit of loose skin on my thighs and my arms. I also won't buy a used one because to me that is the same as buying someone's used panties. Not gonna happen.

Not sure where I am going to find a decent selection of swimsuits in February/March, but it definitely won't be at the Good Will.